Buñuel and animation as a technique, not as a genre.

26 April 2019, premiere of “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles“, the latest film co-produced by Hampa Studio, with Sygnatia, Glow and Submarine.

This film is the maximum Spanish exponent of the argument that animation is not a genre but a technique. This is how they understood it at the Malaga Film Festival where it was nominated for best film, winning the critics’ award for best film, best first film and best music.

Official banner of the film “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles”.

Brilliant animation

The animation of the film is exquisite and refined, nothing strange knowing that it has been directed by the great Manuel Galiana. From the beginning Manuel knew exactly what he wanted. “A very sober animation, with no fuss or useless movements”.

The animation, sometimes in “twos” (a drawing every two frames), “threes”, even “fours”, reduces the fluidity of the movements, moving away from the style of children’s animation and towards a style more typical of films for adult audiences. The effort of the animation is invested in achieving very powerful poses, expressions and good acting, which gives a lot of strength and life to the characters, reinforcing the story itself. This style of animation is the key for the spectator, from minute 1, to stop paying attention to the animation and focus on the wonderful story directed by Salvador Simó.

Thanks are due to Manuel Galiana for treating Spanish viewers as a culturally mature audience, capable of understanding the animation style and at the same time forgetting about it. This puts us on a par with French and Japanese cinemas. Impossible to achieve without the generosity and humility of Manuel, who clearly puts animation at the service of the story.

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Critical acclaim

We are very happy because the public and the national and international critics have not only understood this, but have been full of praise for the film and the animation. It has to be said that among the hundreds of good reviews there was one that defined the animation as “not very fluid” and “clumsy”. It amuses me to think that there must have been someone who thought that the animation of Spirited Away was not very fluid and that Sorolla‘s brushstrokes were rough, but we can’t ask everyone to know everything, can we?

Alex Cervantes

Author Alex Cervantes

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